„The Cow Who…“

MELBOURNE – V lednu uprchl z jatek v newyorské čtvrti Queens mladý býček. Video zachycující zvíře klusající po rušné ulici brzy převzala řada mediálních kanálů. Pro ty, kterým na zvířatech záleží, skončil celý příběh happy endem: býček byl odchycen a odvezen do rezervace, kde bude žít až do své přirozené smrti.

Pro mě však byl nejzajímavějším aspektem příběhu jazyk, který média při referování o zvířeti použila. Deník New York Times totiž článek opatřil titulkem tohoto znění: „Cow Who Escaped New York Slaughterhouse Finds Sanctuary“ („Kráva, která uprchla z newyorských jatek, skončila v rezervaci“). Bojovníci za práva zvířat už dlouho bojují za to, aby spojka „who“ přestala být v angličtině vyhrazená pro lidi a začala se používat i pro zvířata namísto tradičních výrazů „that“ nebo „which“. Ne všechny jazyky to rozlišují, avšak když v angličtině použijeme obrat „the cow that escaped“, nepřímo tím popíráme svébytnost zvířete. Říkáme totiž „the prisoner who escaped“ („vězeň, který uprchl“), ale „the rock that rolled down the hill“ („kámen, který se skutálel ze svahu“).

Bylo by předčasné vyvozovat závěr, že článek v New York Times naznačuje posun v používání jazyka. Spíše jde o projev nejistoty, poněvadž první věta článku hovoří o „a cow that was captured by police“ („krávě, kterou odchytila policie“).

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